WIN 2 Tickets to See The Secret Life of Pets 2!

We’re psyched to be able to give away tickets to this adorable movie!
Enter for your chance to WIN an admit-two pass to the Jacksonville advance screening of The Secret Life of Pets at Regal Avenues on Tuesday, June 4 at 7pm!

TO ENTER
Each option gives you another chance to win:
(You can do one for one entry, or all three for three entries):
1. LIKE Unleash Jacksonville on Facebook + TAG a friend under the contest post (pinned to top)
2. FOLLOW Unleash Jacksonville on Instagram (@unleashjax) + TAG a friend under the contest post
3. Sign up for the Woof’s Happening Newsletter

We’ll select 20 random winners on Monday, June 3rd for FREE 2-person passes!
Eeeeeeek! Good luck!

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Check out the cool new SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 Snapchat lenses!

 Try the new dog and cat lenses using the snap codes below.

CAT LENS

 

 

 

DOG LENS

 

 

 

 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

About THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2

Illumination’s tenth feature, The Secret Life of Pets 2, is the highly anticipated sequel to the 2016 comedic blockbuster that had the biggest opening weekend ever for an original film, animated or otherwise.

Packed with Illumination’s signature irreverence and subversive humor, this new chapter explores the emotional lives of our pets, the deep bond between them and the families that love them, and answers the question that has long intrigued every pet owner: What are your pets really doing when you’re not at home?

Terrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is coping with some major life changes. His owner (Ellie Kemper) is now married and has a toddler, Liam. Max is so worried about protecting the boy that he develops a nervous tic. On a family trip to a farm, Max and mutt Duke (Eric Stonestreet) encounter canine-intolerant cows, hostile foxes and a terrifying turkey, all of which only elevates Max’s anxiety. Luckily, Max gets some guidance from veteran farm dog Rooster (Harrison Ford, making his animated-film debut), who pushes Max to ditch his neuroses, find his inner alpha, and give Liam a little more freedom.

Meanwhile, while her owner is away, plucky Pomeranian Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip.

And crazy-but-cute bunny Snowball (Kevin Hart) gets delusions of grandeur that he’s an actual superhero after his owner Molly starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission, he’ll have to summon the courage to become the hero he’s only been pretending to be.

Can Max, Snowball, Gidget and the rest of the gang find the inner courage to face their biggest fears?

 

Too Hot To Trot – Preventing Heat stroke in Dogs

Amy Olivieri | Too Hot To Trot – Preventing Heat stroke in Dogs |  Freedom issue

 

Too Hot To Trot – Preventing Heat stroke in Dogs

Picture it — a gorgeous summer day in Florida and you’re feeling gooood! The weather’s a perfect 81 degrees­—ahhhhh! You look at your dog, your dog looks at you … How about a run, bud? Your dog gives you a lick on the knee to say he’s in. You lace up them kicks and grab the leash.

But, wait … and here’s a crazy thought …. how about you … maybe … don’t grab the leash? It’s pretty hot outside, so it might just be best for you go for a run without your dog.

I totally get it—not the running part, I discourage myself from running any time of the year—the dog wanting/needing exercise part. But we need to be smart as the adult in this relationship. After working in an animal emergency hospital and seeing a dog die from wearing a costume on a warm day, or going for a run on a hot day, or being left in the car while the owner “just ran in,” I feel the need to educate people about heat stroke. I realize most people just don’t know how quickly it can happen and how serious it is. Honestly, I had no idea myself! But I’ve seen the heartache (and subsequent self blame) that pet parents go through every day. The self blame is the worst. I should’ve known. I should’ve prevented this.

I get reallllly upset when I see people running their dogs in the midday heat or hanging out on the beach with no shade or water. The dog is panting so hard, but keeps going because he has to. Can you imagine wearing a fur coat, not being able to sweat, and then being told to exercise in the blazing Florida sun? (I don’t even like to wear a t-shirt, but I do for y’alls sake).

Dogs aren’t able to sweat out excess body heat. The only sweat glands your dog has are on his paws and they’re actually kind of crappy for regulating body temperature. Instead of sweating, your dog expels the excess heat through panting. Normally, panting is enough to relieve him of the excess heat. However, when panting isn’t enough, heatstroke becomes a real risk.

Your dog’s normal resting temperature is about 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If his temperature were to rise above 105 degrees, he’d begin to experience effects of heat stroke. At 106 to 108 degrees, he’d begin to suffer irreversible damage to his kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, heart, and brain.

I don’t want to sound like an alarmist, here, but please understand that heat stroke is extremely serious—if not treated in a timely manner it can cause the dog’s organs to completely shut down and his heart to stop altogether. And for certain breeds, it can happen just hanging out in the backyard. Aw heck naw, not on my watch! Let’s learn how to prevent this!

Early signs.
Excessive panting will be your first red flag. Other early signs may be more subtle—your dog might seem less responsive to commands than usual. When you call his name, instead of turning to look at you, he may wander away. He may also be unable or unwilling to move around. The Humane Society of the United States adds that signs of potential heat stroke include glazed eyes, excessive drooling, a rapid heart rate, dizziness or lack of coordination, lethargy, or loss of consciousness. If there’s any question at all, get your dog out of the heat. A dangerously overheated dog may collapse or experience seizures, vomit or have diarrhea. His gums or tongue may turn blue or bright red.

When to exercise.
So … how do you decide whether to grab the leash when you’re ready to go for a bike ride, rollerblade, or run? According to Dr. Justine A. Lee, DVM, a general rule stems from working with sled dogs—If the temperature plus humidity added together are greater than 150, it’s too hot for your dog to exercise!
( I’ll do the math for ya: Temperature: 75°F, Humidity level: 80%
75 + 80 = 155 >>> Too hot to run. YES, heat stroke can happen even at 75 degrees in certain dogs. )

Choose to exercise your dog during non-peak heat hours—very early in the morning or late in the evening (the pavement will be cooler then, too, so no burnt paws).

What if it happens?
Recognizing the symptoms and responding quickly is essential. Call your vet or emergency vet as soon as you can.

1. Get into the shade ASAP. If you think your dog is suffering from heat stroke, move him into a shaded area and out of direct sunlight.

2. Apply cool water to the inner thighs and stomach of the dog, where there’s a higher concentration of relatively superficial, large blood vessels. Use cool—not cold—running water. A faucet or hose is the best way to wet down your dog’s body. Don’t submerge your dog in water, such as in a pool or tub—this could cool the dog too rapidly, leading to further complications.

Using ice or extremely cold water is actually counterproductive to this process, as it will cause the blood vessels to constrict, which slows blood flow, slowing the cooling process.

3. Apply cool water to the foot pads. Rubbing alcohol may also be applied to the footpads to dilate pores and increase perspiration.

4. Don’t cover the dog. One of the keys to successfully cooling your dog is ensuring the water being placed on the dog can evaporate. Don’t cover an overheated dog with a wet towel or blanket. This inhibits evaporation and creates a sauna effect around your dog’s body. Also, don’t wet the dog down and put it into an enclosed area, such as a kennel. Any air flow during the cooling process is helpful in reducing the dog’s body temperature. Sitting with the wet dog in a running car with the air conditioner blowing is an ideal cooling situation.

5. Keep the dog moving. Try to encourage your dog to stand or walk slowly as it cools down. The circulating blood tends to pool in certain areas if the dog is lying down, thus preventing the cooled blood from circulating back to the core.

6. Give small amounts of water. Cooling the dog is the first priority. Hydration is the next. Don’t allow the dog to gulp water. Instead, offer small amounts of cool water, not cold. If the dog drinks too much water too rapidly, it could lead to vomiting or bloat.
Performance beverages designed for humans are not recommended because they’re not formulated with the canine’s physiology in mind. If you can’t get an overheated dog to drink water, try offering chicken- or beef-based broths.

7. Get to your butts to the vet or emergency vet as soon as you can. Like, pronto.

Listen, living in Florida we need to be extra aware of how the heat is affecting our pets. As you may have noticed, it gets pretty darn hot in the summer, but heat stroke can occur in the spring or fall as well. In general, make sure your dog gets plenty of water, air circulation, and shade, and remember the self-cooling ability depends on the dog. Short-snouted breeds like bulldogs or pugs can’t cool themselves as easily through panting. Dog breeds that originated in cold climates (like huskies, malamutes, and newfoundlands) also typically have a harder time adjusting to the heat.

Hopefully this was just a refresher for you—you already knew how to keep your dog safe in the heat, right? Please don’t be afraid to speak up (in a kind way) if you think someone else’s dog is in danger. You could save a life! •

PS! Headed to the beach? Bring shade and fresh water for your dog … unless you want a good talkin’ to.

/ Too Hot To Trot – Preventing Heat stroke in Dogs | Freedom Issue | June/July 2019

What to do if your pet is lost

Originally published in the Unleash Jacksonville GOOFUS issue

tips to find lost pets of jacksonville
Find your lost pet

It’s a horrible horrible feeling to know your pet is out there somewhere without you. Getting the word out and starting the search quickly can greatly increase the chances of getting your baby back safely. The following are tips and resources that can help you be successful in your reunification:

• Start looking immediately.

Search your OWN home & property to make sure he’s not just hiding.

• Search your neighborhood. Bring your pet’s favorite things with you, a “squeaky” toy or favorite treats and rattle them loudly while calling your pet’s name. It’s also important to stop regularly, be quiet, and listen to see if your pet is making any noise.

• Use social media! Facebook, instagram and twitter are amazing for spreading the word. Post on Lost Found Pets Jacksonville and North Florida, your neighborhood pages, Unleash Jacksonville, and ask your friends to share share share! Post on the NextDoor app.

• Use the power of scent. Place a recently worn article of clothing (at least a day… the stinkier the better) belonging to a family member or the lost pet’s unwashed bedding in your yard or outside your front door where the breeze can carry the scent. Familiar scents can bring them home. Cats will respond to an open can of tuna fish or litter box also.

• Post signs at intersections. Include the breed of dog (or cat), sex, age, weight, and color, use bright colored paper for higher visibility. Give copies of your flyer to people that walk their dogs in the area… and even the postman! The Jacksonville Humane Society has a FREE flyer generator.

• GO TO all the local shelters. Calling the animal control department or shelter on the phone is not very effective. You should go to the shelters at least every other day.

• Contact veterinary clinics both in your area and surrounding areas. Leave a picture of your pet with contact information for the staff.

Use FindingRover.com or the Finding Rover App (free) to mark your pet as missing. The facial recognition technology could help your pet find his or her way back to you.

• Microchips. When your pet is microchipped, be sure to register your pet’s microchip with the microchip company, and if you move, update the information.

• In Jacksonville, file a report with Animal Care & Protective Services. 904-630-2489 (select option 5) or visit coj.net/pets

Notify the shelter or rescue group where you got your pet. They can help!

• Don’t give up hope! There are amazing stories of found pets every day!

JACKSONVILLE LOST PET RESOURCES

Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services
(904) 630-2489 • coj.net/pets
ACPS current strays or found dogs

Jacksonville Humane Society
(904) 725-8766 • jaxhumane.org
Free online flyer generator

jaxanimals.com/lost pets

Lost Found Pets Jacksonville and North Florida

Lost Pets of Jacksonville

petharbor.comlostmydoggie.com
fidofinder.competamberalert.com

Atlantic Beach Animal Control • (904) 247-5866
Neptune Beach Animal Control • (904) 270-2411
Jacksonville Beach Animal Control • (904) 247-6167
St. John’s County Animal Control • (904) 209-6190

Have you had a successful reunion? Are you still looking for your pet? Do you have more ideas to help others? Post them in the comments!

 

A letter from a heartbroken family

To whomever picked up a tan and white pup on Plainfield Ave in the Town of Orange Park on October 13, 2107:

Missing since October 13, 2017, in Orange Park, Florida

Please know that she is deeply missed and loved by her family. Please take Doucie in to the nearest vet and scan her for her chip! Doucie is a female, Aussie Shepherd/Beagle/ Lab mix, she is about 18 inches at the shoulder, has white on the legs and belly and last half of her tail. The rest of her is reddish brown with a dusting of black on her nose and ears. Her fur is medium length and seems to be a double coat, hence her love of swimming in all weather. She may have a slight limp from her surgery. She got loose through no fault of ours.

Around 9 o’clock that morning, my mom and I took Doucie to AVS-BluePearl Veterinary Hospital, located at 275 Corporate Way behind Adamec’s Motorcycle Shop, for an after-surgery check-up. Three weeks prior she had ACL surgery on her right knee, hence the shaved fur on that leg and the stitches. We were told to leave Doucie in the care of AVS/BluePearl becuase the doctor that did the surgery wanted to look at her, and the doctor was performing an emergency surgery. We handed Doucie over to a vet-tech after removing her harness. Doucie still had on her yellow and green waterproof collar with an i.d. tag showing her name and phone number, as well as a little red cow bell. We left, believing all was okay. That was the last time we saw Doucie. 

The vet-tech that took Doucie didn’t correctly latch her kennel. Doucie was able to open the gate, open and walk through to interior doors, scan the lobby, and then use her head to open the heavier front door. Even though an alert customer called out that an unattended pup had come through a door and was in the lobby, no vet-tech’s seemed alarmed. They didn’t react until Doucie was outside. Doucie scanned the parking lot for us, but we were already gone, so she ran across Corporate Way and went for a swim in Wells Lake. After her swim, Doucie ran back across Corporate Way, almost getting hit, and ran back to the front door. At this point, either a vet-tech outside, or someone inside scared Doucie and she ran off again. 

Doucie ran along Corporate Way then darted over the railroad tracks and through the woods and brush. A vet-tech did see her crossing the tracks.  We learned that a truck driver had seen Doucie running through the parking lot of the warehouse behind the hotels on Wells Road. Doucie eventually made her way through the woods, possibly resting near a feral cat colony in the area. We found out two weeks later that she was seen being picked up by an unknown person in an unknown vehicle near 704 Plainfield Ave. (verified by Pat Totillo and her K9 search team).

Over the next month and a half, our family and friends made fliers and posters, tacking and taping them to every post, pole and phone box in Orange Park. There is also a Police report on file of the incident. The town of Orange Park was very understanding to our dilemma and allowed us to leave our signs up for a month and a half. They have a town ordinance against unauthorized signs being up more than a day or two. Since October 13, 2017, there have been over 25 possible sightings. None have been verified as Doucie, all have been linked to local pups, even if the caller describes Doucie perfectly.  Case in point, we received a call about a dog that could have been Doucie near W.E.Cherry Elementary School in the Blairmore Blvd area, the caller described her perfectly, even down to the shorter hair on her leg that had been shaved for surgery a month before.  This call proved to be false. The dog seen was a boxer mix, we saw him.  There have been possible sightings all over Clay County, from Plainfield Ave to Oakleaf to the Orange Park Country Club to Ridgecrest to Middleburg and Fleming Island, even up Blanding Blvd to Townsend Road, behind Lexus of Orange Park. We have posted fliers wherever there is a sighting. 

Two weeks into our canvassing of the Town of Orange Park, we encountered an employee of a business on the business loop at the end of Loring Ave that said she saw a dog that looked very much like Doucie being picked up on Plainfield Ave, the day Doucie escaped from the vet hospital. This led to us contacting Pat Totillo and her team to narrow down our search. The K9’s were able to track Doucie from the AVS/BluePearl, down Corporate Way, across the tracks and through the parking lot.  They lost her scent in the woods, but picked her scent up on Ash Street and followed it to an area near the mailbox of 704 Plainfield Ave. To verify this, Ms Totillo had her other K9 come from Loring Ave. This K9 did not alert to Doucie’s scent until he reached the same patch the first K9 alerted to, this verified that Doucie had been picked up. And the K9’s were able to verify that Doucie had never been at any of the sightings that were called in. The only unverified call belongs to a farmer, possibly in Clay County, who described several of Doucie’s characteristics, as well as her collar and tags, in a deep, gravely voice. He said he had to go but he would call back. He never has returned the call, and his numbers were blocked. We have several contacts in Clay County that have been helping us with spreading Doucie’s story and fliers, among them are the Town of Orange Park Police Department, Melissa from PrimeVet on Kingsley Ave., and Mary from Crackers in South Orange Park.     

Doucie has been my moms constant companion ever since we rescued her.  Doucie would sleep by her bed, and check up on her throughout the day, no matter where each one was at the house. Doucie would interrupt her front gate guarding, her sunning, her swimming, or her strolling to go and check on mom, to make sure everything was alright. Mom would go out and check on Doucie too.

Doucie is chipped and was wearing a yellow and green waterproof collar with an i.d. tag and a red bell. She is reddish brown on top and sides with white underneath, and white legs and the last half of her tail is white, like a flag. She has a light dusting of black on her nose and ears. She has medium long fur that seems to be a double coat, based on her penchant for swimming in all kinds of weather.  She is smart, energetic, playful.  Her absence is weighing heavily on us.  We miss Doucie and need her to come home.

If you have ANY information, please contact us! Please share her photo and search for her call/text 904-327-3698

THANK YOU,
James Mooers

Doucie has two facebook pages, Find Doucie and Help Us Find Doucie (please follow!). 

Hü Poupe’d

By Anonymous / Originally published in Unleash Jacksonville, DUTY issue

*Not the actual culprit in THIS story

We’ve recently started using this adorable little french phrase in our home—Hü Poupe´d. I don’t expect you to be able to pronounce it—it’s rathar fancy-pants—but, roughly, it translates to “who pooped” in English. I personally like to say it three times in a row, while looking at my suspects directly into their eyeballs. Surprisingly enough, in our house, the one who doesn’t look away is most often the one hü poupe´d (he’s a brazen boydog and uses the “But I’m Paralyzed” card every. single. time.)

We don’t really need to ask this question. It’s always that same guy. We ask it, hoping for some sign of remorse, as he will stare back at me—through me really—as if to say, Yah I did it and it was awesome. And guess what? In about three hours … gonna do it again. {shrug} Let me know if you wanna watch.

So … I mean … I’m not sure if you’ve ever allowed anyone to go number two in your home consistently and repeatedly, but if not, I’ll give you an insider’s perspective—it makes you feel downright disgusting. It makes you want to wash your feet sixteen times a day, that’s for sure, and it makes you not want to have anyone over for a decent lasagna dinner.

During a recent storm, I was looking for one of our pups who tends to be frightened, and I took a little look-see under my bed. That’s when life changed forever. I did find him there, curled up in his safe zone …. but I also found something else—well, let’s see … imagine the biggest turd you can think of. Go ahead and multiply it by two and add six. It was massive, it was impressive. Huh. I wonder how long that’s been there, I whispered out loud to no one. And then, crouched there, gazing under my bed at the silhouette of a massive turd … I wondered how I got here. Not knowing how long a turd has been under my bed?! That’s ludacris. I’ve always known how long turds have been under my bed. When did this happen to me and is this how it’s just going to be from now on? How did I not smell it and am I still a good person? (It feels really good to talk about all this—my stinky little secret. Go ahead—tell all your perfect friends that Anonymous is absolutely hideous.)

Since starting to care for this dog who can’t help but accept—nay, be proud of—what he can’t control, I’m begrudgingly learning the same. Ugh, life lessons are so dumb sometimes. I don’t like it. But I do like him. As part of our System of Containment, there is a garbage bag-sized bag of dog poop on my front porch. You do what you gotta do. What of it? Keeps the peeping Toms from staying to long.

I’ve come to realize the answer to my questions, following the discovery of MegaTurd (except how did I not smell it). This has happened to me because, as much as I may want to just take off in a jet plane some days, I’m not a deserter (However, I am a desserter, by the by. Anything warm and chocolate-y.) I love my dogs through thick and thin; barf piles and endless mounds of poo-nami; even old age, I know that’s a crazy notion for some. So, accepting what I cannot immediately change, I better invest in a good steamer and, yah. I do think I’ll check under the bed more often. •

BREAKING NEWS: Florida Dogs are Bravely Facing “Winter”

Sure, it has gotten down into the 30s a few days this winter, but for the most part, we have it preeeeetty good here compared to other places buried in snow. Many of us have dogs that don’t appreciate that Florida is a sweet place to live. We asked our readers to submit photos (via Facebook) of how their dogs cope with Florida winters. Photos also appeared in our Transformation issue!

My Bella said not to wake her till spring is here.
Our little rescue “Willow” keeping warm in a cool winter morning!
These three are forced to keep each other warm because mom refuses to turn on the heat!
Florida dog, Knox, on vacation in GA mountains!
Davi on vacay … what is this white stuff?
Vega likes to belly up to the bar at Green Turtle when it gets cold.
Ally likes to stick one foot out like a human!
Keep on keeping that head warm, Francesca!
Find Rocket in his blanket cave
Sir Walter brings his blanket with, just in case it gets gusty.
Solo likes to stay cozy!
Brody loves wearing his pajamas when it’s cold!
My Biggie is a typical Florida dog.
Dramatic when it’s cold!
Bruno … am I posh yet?
Bella says Florida dogs don’t know what they’re missing!

Submit a photo of your cool dog in a cool location for our next issue!

Tag your favorite Groomer in Jacksonville!

tag, jacksonville groomer, favorite, jackonville beachWe want to know how your dog got to look (and smell) so GREAT!

Tag your favorite Jacksonville Groomer!

Give a shout out to your most awesome Jacksonville professional GROOMER by tagging them on our Facebook Post … The groomer with the most tags by the time we change our banner will get a listing on unleashjax.com FREE for one year! Only TAGS count, not likes, people.

(Groomers, feel free to nudge your clients

Is your groomer on unleashjax? Give them a REVIEW so others know how awesome they are! Is your groomer not on unleashjax? Tell them to get their fuzzy butts listed ASAP.

Finding a groomer you can trust with your baby can be difficult. If you don’t already have one, please check out our directory!

Blood. Sweat. Tears.

 

Reprinted from the Unleash Jacksonville Brilliant Issue.

__________________

When you see someone fully embracing their passion—and growing in it—BOOM! It’s pretty darn inspiring, right? Kelly Kinlaw of Fur Sisters has been dedicated to saving dogs from high-kill shelters for many years and always wanted to be able to do more. Save more. Last July, Kelly realized her dream when Fur Sisters opened a 750 square-foot transitional space for dogs coming from urgent situations. In this space, dogs can decompress while waiting for a foster or adopter. This time allowed to transition is so important, because dogs are often too stressed in shelters to show their true personality and they get overlooked time after time. In the week or so that dogs stay at Fur Sisters, they can relax in this calm space while listening to music, enjoying some aromatherapy, and getting lots of treats. They are also tested with cats and other dogs during this time to see what kind of home would be best for them.

Here is where we need to stress that the new space IS NOT an adoption center (although that is one of Kelly’s ultimate goals), and it IS NOT a drop off for found or unwanted animals. But, while it’s true the new space is not an adoption center and you can’t just drop in any ‘ol time, there are always some very amazing dogs hanging out and you may make an appointment to meet them!

Fur Sisters mainly pulls from Putnam, Bradford and Clay county shelters, as these shelters are constantly overcrowded and, unfortunately, euthanize for space. They’ve also taken in some sweet pups from emergency situations, like Norman, who was thrown out of a moving car on Normandy Boulevard, and Angel, who was found in a Walmart Parking lot, completely starved, and the bottom half of her stained yellow and brown—you can figure out from what. You may also have seen Fur Sisters on the news when they helped Louis, a homeless man living in the woods taking care of a pack of dogs. Louis was taking as best of care as he could of the dogs he loved—they were being treated better than he treated himself. Fur Sisters stepped in to help the dogs and are also continuing to help Louis.

Here’s some exciting news for those of you who are looking for a great hair cut and want to meet some dogs at the same time! Kelly has moved her “day job” to be in the same building, so that she can be more efficient in both her rescue work and her making-people-look-gorgeous work. Cuts by Kelly moved to the front of the Fur Sisters space in Jax Beach in September of 2017. Go get your human hairs cut!

The new Fur Sisters location is a fantastic asset to our beach community. If you’d like to become involved (and become a “Fur Angel,” as helpers call themselves), Kelly says they’re always looking for people to help walk and socialize dogs, especially on the weekends. You could take a dog for a beach romp! They also always have a need for chew bones, dry dog food, monetary donations, and fosters—most crucial to save more lives!

____________________

Donation items can be dropped off Tuesday through Friday 10-4 or email fureverursrescue@gmail.com to coordinate a time, offer volunteer time, or set an appointment to meet some amazing pups!

Fur sisters currently has several dogs they’ve pulled from high-kill shelters in boarding and the bills are piling up. Kindly Donate to Fur Sisters on #GivingTuesday or offer to foster!

____________________

Winnie the Pooch

Winnie, shortly after being rescued

Reprinted from the Unleash Jacksonville Resolute Issue   |   by April Courtney

____________

The day Winnie and her siblings were rescued by Rescue + Freedom Project (R+FP), formerly Beagle Freedom Project, this little love pot couldn’t contain her excitement for her new found freedom! She was loving everyone and everything. She sprinted around the yard and was the only dog brave enough to hop in the little doggy pool. Up until this happy moment, Winnie had spent her whole life in a cage being used as a test subject for beauty products.

The world is a scary place for a little beagle who has never seen the grass or sunlight before. Winnie was fostered by a lovely family for a month before we added her to our motley crew. When we adopted Winnie, she didn’t know how to drink water from a bowl, she only ate her food in the dark, and she was petrified of any loud noises. We knew adopting a special needs animal would be difficult, but I didn’t realize how heartbreaking her story truly was. She didn’t trust humans at all and preferred to spend her time in a small fort made of sheets and pillows in our bedroom. She was scared of the television and all noises. We’d often find her on our bed just sitting there and listening to all these sounds she’d never heard before, shaking in fear.

Winnie confided in me to be her safeguard and was my little shadow, following me around the house wherever I went. She’d sleep under the covers, curled up underneath my chin every night. Slowly but surely, she started to trust more and started coming out of her pillow fort. She started imitating our other dog, Jumbo, and learned how to sleep in a dogbed, hang out on the couch, and go potty outside. She enjoyed going for walks and doing zoomies at the dog park. This little scared beagle started to feel safe and started to explore this big new world of hers.

One of her biggest moments (for her and us) was when she finally jumped up on the couch and cuddled with us while we watched a movie. What a great moment!

We’ve now had Winnie for 8 months, and this little girl has turned into the crazy beagle she was always meant to be. She spends her time sniffing around the backyard, howling at her brother to play, and trying to eat any and all food that she sees. She absolutely loves playing couch gymnastics—jumping from couch to couch and seeing how far she can jump off of them. She has blossomed into such a little daredevil, and it’s been amazing to watch her personality unfold.

We fostered another beagle puppy from Rescue + Freedom Project, which only made Winnie come out of her shell even more. She’s enjoyed playing with him and teaching him how to be a dog! Adopting a special needs animal can be challenging at times, but it has been the most rewarding experience of my life. While Winnie still hasn’t given me a kiss on the cheek, I am patiently waiting for that miraculous day!

The best way to help animals like Winnie is to adopt a cruelty-free lifestyle. Switch your products like toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, cleaning products, etc., to brands that don’t test on animals. There’s even an app that makes it very easy to scan a product at the store to find out if it is cruelty free. You can download the R+FP’s Cruelty Cutter app for free!

See an updated video with Winnie for Giving Tuesday right here!

Please DONATE today for #GivingTuesday and your life-saving donation will be DOUBLED by a generous donor – up to $50k!

___________________________________________________________

April Courtney adopted Winnie, an animal testing survivor rescued by Rescue + Freedom Project. Winnie + 1,500 more survivors are now free from labs, shelters, cruelty, and captivity because of people like YOU donating, supporting the cause, and promoting a #RescueLifestyle. YOU make all the difference in these animals lives.

To find our more about animal testing, going cruelty free, or adopting a testing survivor: rescuefreedomproject.org.

___________________________________________________________

Unleash Jacksonville’s Happy Hour Photo Gallery!

We had such a great time at our first Happy Hour at South!  You can’t beat great drinks and food, and amazing dogs and humans! Huge thanks to SOUTH for hosting a lovely patio party, to Pawlicious for the pupcakes, and to all our friends who came out!

Check out the entire photo gallery here!

If you’d like to purchase a print or download of your photo, you totally can! It will be color corrected and gorgeous.